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Payday: The Heist's Long Arm of the Law

2:30 PM on 10.14.2011 // Conrad Zimmerman

[This is the first in a series of five guest blogs from OVERKILL Software creative director Simon Vicklund about the forces that stand between you and incalculable wealth in Payday: The Heist, coming soon to PlayStation Network. Stay tuned to Destructoid as we continue this series up to the release of Payday on October 18th]

Hi there! This is Simon Viklund on the behalf of the OVERKILL crew. I've served as creative director on this rather neat robber co-op action FPS we've developed, called Payday: The Heist. It's coming out later this month and to prepare you for the onslaught of law enforcers I've written this little piece on what kind of resistance you can expect in the game. You didn't think you could just waltz right into the bank's vault and then stroll out to the escape vehicle, now did you?

The arm of the law is indeed long - and limber. If you're wanted by it, you'd better run pretty frickin' far if you want to escape punishment. As a bank robber in Payday, you can expect the police's first assault wave to be quite predictable (and likely to consist of poorly armed units), but whatever location you're in it's only a matter of time before it's gonna be swiss cheese - and before you know it you have Heavy SWATs rappeling down from skylights and crashing through windows around you!


That's the long arm of the law reaching in and looking to get a hold of you. In Payday, this arm has a hand with five fingers - and those fingers are the security guard, the police officer, the FBI agent, the SWAT and the Heavy SWAT. Those are the "basic" enemies you'll encounter - the "meat and potatoes" on your cannon fodder menu:

The security guard is the guy who didn't have what it takes to be a policeman. While his shirt is just as ineffective as a police officer's when it comes to stopping bullets, the security guard is much weaker in mind: He will give up more easily if intimidated (and make a fine hostage) and he does not cooperate with other law enfocerement branches as well as, say, the police.

The police officer, the man in blue, the backbone of law enforcement. Although poorly armed the police makes a fearsome adversery in their numbers - there's simply a hell of a lot of 'em! Any experienced robber maintains a healthy amount of respect for the police.

Police officers are also a lot more tactical than security guards - they will, for example, stand around and guard a downed robber to hinder other robbers from helping him back up.

This is an FBI agent and he's mad as hell because this was his day off, and you just destroyed it by robbing a bank and forcing the authorities to bring EVERYONE! FBI agents are often involved in infiltration operations that require them to keep their true identities as law enforcers secret, so in fear of ending up on the news they sometimes wear ski masks - just don't confuse him for a robber!

When there are FBI agents on the scene you know it's business - they're more agile and shoot more accurately than security guards and regular police, and they also use smoke bombs - so when you hear one of those go off you know you *at least* have FBI agents to deal with. They are often part of hostage rescue units that operate in the lull between assault waves - look away for a minute and all your bargaining chips will be gone!

The "regular SWAT" - or the "blue SWAT" - are tough, although not the toughest. When these guys arroce they increase the bullet whizby frequency by a couple of hundred percent because these are the first guys who carry SMGs and other fully automatic weapons. In other words: They're not here to negotiate - they're here to mow you down.

The Heavy SWAT (left) are easily distinguished from the regular SWAT in that they are dressed completely in black and they're generally just bigger and badder. These guys can take a lot of bullets to the chest, so when a pair of them comes around a corner you'd better pick 'em off with headshots, or you'll be standing around like a doofus with an empty weapon when the third guy comes through the window behind you and unloads his shotgun in your lower back.

Some missions also pitches you against Murky Water mercenaries (right). These are the toughest common enemies in Payday - they can take even more hits to the body than Heavy SWATs, but they are more vulnerable to headshots and give up more easily than (probably because they are motivated solely by money and no conviction).

This article was part one of a five piece series. Tomorrow we'll move on and study one of the game's four "special" enemies: The Shield.

Payday: The Heist is a digitally distributed title, coming to PSN (PS3) and Steam (PC) later this month, for $20. Check out, and our Twitter account "overkill_tm" for news!

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Conrad Zimmerman, Moustache
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An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast () and str... more   |   staff directory

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